The Netherlands – The First Country With No Abandoned Dogs

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The statistics suggests that there are about 200 million stray dogs throughout the world. The Netherlands was the first country seriously deciding to do something about it. 

In the Netherlands dogs culturally were considered a privilege of a wealthy class. People of means had dogs as pets and for sporting. Poor people had dogs for working. In the 19th century there was the epidemic of rabies and dog owners abandoned their dogs. Nobody wanted to be associated with a sick dog at that time. 



In 1864 the first animal protecting agency was started. Already at that time people in the Netherlands were concerned with the problem and were trying to find a way to solve it. There is a fine equivalent to $18, 539 and up to three years in jail for animal abuse. 

Today many cities have a heavy taxation on store-bought dogs. No wonder a lot of people prefer to adopt dogs from shelters. A program called Collect, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return, or CNVR was started as well. This program is nationwide and is funded by the government. There is also a police force just for animals in the country. The police believes that there is a link between violence against animals and violence against humans. That is why the punishment is often quite similar. 



The problem of hazardous stray dogs is considered a moral and ethical issue and people agree that it creates an emotional toll to see starving, hurt, or dead creatures on the streets.

The nation’s animal welfare effort continues to be successful. About 90% of people in the Netherlands have adopted a previously abandoned dog into their family. This means that about million dogs found their home.

Read more: Ban on Using Wild Animals in Circuses: Portugal’s Law Covers More Than 40 Species

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